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Advice & Tips News

The Benefits of Stepping Away From Your Desk at Lunchtime

May 28, 2019

Another Bank Holiday has been and gone, and even if you’re a dedicated worker, you’ll be looking forward to your next break. But since the next Bank Holiday isn’t until August, a good solution to help you stay physically and mentally fresh is to make the most of your breaks throughout your workday. So if you regularly eat lunch al-desko, read on.



Studies have shown that breaks have benefits

The next time you consider working through your lunch break, know that studies have shown that when employees take lunch breaks at work, they become less fatigued and are better able to focus and problem solve. They have also found that taking a break and interacting with others makes work environments more positive, and a positive work environment is a more productive one.

Another Australian study asked participants to take 30 minute walks during their lunch breaks three times per week for 10 weeks. The participants then had to record how they were feeling before and after the walks. The results found that stress levels were lower and people felt more enthusiastic about their jobs after the walks.

So getting out of the office and going for a stroll is great for your health, and it can stop you from mindlessly overeating as you might when you are at your desk. Going for a walk after you eat improves digestion and gives your energy a boost rather than you getting that post-lunch slump.

The importance of getting out for a stroll on your break

Being more active is especially important if you sit at a desk all day. Countless studies have found that a sedentary lifestyle is more dangerous for your health than smoking.

If you spend all day sitting, this is what happens in your body. It’s not like us to scaremonger, but these are all proven by science.

  • You burn fewer calories which increases the likelihood that what you eat will go straight to your fat stores
  • Your body becomes less sensitive to insulin, which increases your risk of diabetes.



The importance of natural light

You’ve no doubt heard about the importance of getting out in the sunshine as it helps your body produce vitamin D, but it also really helps boost your mood. The reason for this is that it boosts the levels of a brain chemical called serotonin, and serotonin is responsible for mood, brain function, memory, and healthy sleep. And no, you don’t get any of these benefits from artificial lights in buildings.

A study at Oxford University found that a lack of exposure to natural light can lead to poor mental performance and poor memory. It also found that increased exposure to natural light improved mood and productivity at work.

So the next time you consider working through your lunch break, remember that you’ll be happier, healthier and more productive if you get out for a walk in the sun after a healthy lunch.